Book Review: Private Games by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

The following review originally appeared on Book End Babes, a website devoted to a love of reading and to learning about new authors.

Those of you who have read my posts here on BEB know my love of James Patterson. I refer to him often. So when my mom passed along his latest book, co-authored with Mark Sullivan, to me I was thrilled to review such a timely book for you all!

A synopsis of the book from James Patterson’s website:

Private, the world’s most renowned investigation firm, has been commissioned to provide security for the 2012 Olympic games in London. Its agents are the smartest, fastest, and most technologically advanced in the world, and 400 of them have been transferred to London to protect over 10,000 competitors who represent more than 200 countries.

The opening ceremony is still hours away when Private investigator and single father of twins, Nigel Steele, is called to the scene of a ruthless murder. A high-ranking member of the games’ organizing committee and his mistress have been killed. It’s clear that it wasn’t a crime of passion, but one of precise calculation and execution.

Newspaper reporter Karen Pope receives a letter from a person who calls himself Cronus claiming responsibility for the murders. He also proclaims that he will restore the Olympics to their ancient glory and will destroy all who have corrupted the games with lies, cheating, and greed. Karen immediately hires Private to examine the letter, and she and Nigel uncover a criminal genius who won’t stop until he’s ended the games for good.

When I read this, I thought, how ballsy to write a book complete with terrorist activities set at the 2012 London Games before they even happen. But then I read the acknowledgements in the back of the book. If the International Olympic Committee provided information and tours of the site of the games for this book to be accurate, I consider that a stamp of approval.

For those of you who read Patterson’s novels, you may already be familiar with Jack Morgan, the owner of Private International. He is one of my favorites of Patterson’s characters, behind Michael Bennett and Alex Cross. While he plays more of a minor character in this novel that takes on his company’s name, his presence was welcome in this novel.

Peter Knight, a new character introduced in this novel, is one of the best I have seen written. Patterson and Sullivan did a nice job of creating a story that interweaves Knight’s personal and private lives with an interesting family twist of characters. (I don’t want to give this one away)

And the who-done-it; I didn’t predict who did it until I got toward the very end. Cronus, this novel’s evil and tormented character, has a story like no other. It’s dark and twisted and he is absolutely insane at points. How they can craft a character like this, I cannot wrap my head around.

For a Patterson novel, this was a slower read which I appreciated. I can normally fly through one of his books in a few hours, but I really loved all of the details and the accuracy of this novel. I could not put this one down. I really hope that Peter Knight is a character that hangs around.

Are you a James Patterson fan? Or are you just a fan of sick, twisted murders? Who are some of your favorite murders from your favorite mystery writer?

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